Music Monday: Charley Pride

Charley Pride recorded somewhere between 29 and 40 #1 hits, depending on how you count.  It was funny, then, when someone posing as an expert on country music claimed only four black men had ever topped Billboard Country Charts.[1]  One of those didn’t—Lil Nas X.  And there was one massive omission—Charley Pride.  The most likely explanation is the most obvious.  This guy doesn’t know who Charley Pride is because he doesn’t really know shit about country music and is lying to make a cheap point.

When called on it, he responded flippantly.  I could argue here that if you expect any credibility in arguing country music[2] that you need to get your facts right.  He might perhaps argue in return that his cause[3] is more important than getting it right about Mr. Pride.  But those are utilitarian arguments.  I’m not interested in making utilitarian arguments.  In Kantian terms, Mr. Pride has the right to be treated as an end, not as a means.  In Christian terms, he is inherently deserving of dignity as a human being created in God’s image.  He is a man, not a tool in your box of arguments.

So fuck that hack.  Let’s listen to some damn fine music.

Charley Pride was RCA’s best-selling performer since Elvis Presley.  In addition to the 40 #1 hits mentioned above, he had another 12 top tens.  He is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame.  At 85 Pride is still alive, one of the last of the old greats.

Hank Williams said “You got to have smelt a lot of mule manure before you can sing like a hillbilly.”  Charley Pride worked as a smelter between his careers in baseball and music.  Speaking of Hank, I’m partial to Pride’s version of Kaw-Liga, which exceeds Hank Sr.’s original (although I like Hank Jr.’s version even more).

Pride’s biggest hit was Kiss an Angel Good Morning, a song well-covered in its own right.

You can find both songs on The Charley Pride Collection.


Music Monday is the brainchild of Drew at The Tattooed Book Geek.

You can find every video featured in 2019 for Music Monday here.

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[1] You can read about it all here.

[2] This assumes the argument is about country music.

[3] Attention for himself, most likely.

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